Necessity Was the Mother of Invention — and It Changed Tastes

Colin Sewake
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

For years I’ve wondered how taco ingredients came to be spread over rice and eaten that way here in Okinawa rather than being served in a crispy taco shell like it is in the states and other locales. Everyone — my wife, Okinawan friends, magazine articles, etc. — all claim that “taco rice,” as it is called here, was created in Okinawa. So, I decided to do some research on its origins.

In 2015, Anthony Bourdain, the late American celebrity chef and host of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” came to film in Okinawa. His CNN program featured cuisines and cultures from all over the world. I didn’t get to see him during his visit, but I did see his Okinawa program that fall while on temporary assignment in Georgia for my military work.

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